When the Hudson Hotel(356 W 58th St at Ninth Ave; 212-554-6000, hudsonhotel.com) decided to winterize its outdoor terrace bar, Private Park, for the first time in its 12-year history, Verena Haller, senior vice president of design for Morgans Hotel Group, had just five weeks to transform the lush garden space into a temporary chalet-chic lounge (open through February 28). With a quick turnaround and an even tighter budget of $20,000, Haller relied on her in-house design team to source ski-lodge-inspired accessories from various Soho decor stores, in order to dress up the preexisting furnishings. “When you decorate your home for the season, you don’t want to spend a lot of money,” notes Haller. “You’re not going to move the furniture out, but you’ll have different pillows and throws, and more candles than you usually do. That’s exactly the approach we took here.”
For a modern look, ceramic moose heads purchased from Z Gallerie (zgallerie.com) are mixed in with real taxidermy, rented from hunter Jack Mitten, a friend of Haller’s who lives upstate. “We wanted to get that classic lodge feel but at the same time stay very clean and simple,” she explains. “It’s also more affordable—[actual animal busts] can be really expensive.”
Haller’s design team scoured eBay (ebay.com) for vintage ski accessories, such as these antique wood snowshoes tacked up on the ivy-strewn concession stand. Other finds from the online auction site include a pair of retro skis, snow boots and a sled, which are mounted above two bars on either side of the room. “In the summer, the garden is loosely based on a Moroccan theme,” explains Haller of the ornate metal lanterns from Jamali Garden(149 W 28th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-996-5534, jamaligarden.com) clustered together on the floor. The EAT marquee sign is another year-round fixture, and was found at Texas furniture store Archi-Arts (archi-arts.com) with the help of architecture and design firm Rottet Studio (rottetstudio.com).
A pair of shaggy ottomans picked up at ABC Carpet & Home(888 Broadway at 19th St; 212-473-3000, abchome.com) and a cowhide rug from Restoration Hardware (935 Broadway at 22nd St; 212-260-9479, restorationhardware.com) that’s been repurposed as a throw conceal a canvas outdoor daybed’s warm-weather intentions. The woodsy stump stools were display samples at a downtown furniture store that Haller convinced the owner to sell.
“When you start throwing different pillows on these regular chairs, all of a sudden you get a winter look,” notes Haller, who piled faux-fur throws and mohair cushions onto rustic wood settees leftover from the bar’s previous iteration. “It’s about creating that cozy, warm environment,” she says. “In the evening, you add candlelight and it just becomes such a magical place.”
More real and faux animal heads hang from reclaimed wood, salvaged from a recent hotel construction job. “Our CEO [Michael Gross] was like, ‘I need that wood wall on my terrace,’ ” recalls Haller of the eco-friendly paneling’s warm reception. The arboreal table-and-chair set is actually made of concrete, and was discovered at a Paris flea market. Strings of hardware-store-sourced clear globe lights were hung throughout the space for a twinkling effect. “When you look up, it’s almost like seeing the stars in the sky,” muses Haller.
Haller worked with beverage consultant Steve Olson to find the proper drinkware for beverages such as the Hudson’s signature hot chocolate ($8), made with Oaxacan chocolate and Marshmallow Fluff, and topped with your choice of pulverized candy canes, soft cookie-dough pieces or crushed chocolate pretzels.
“It was an easy reference for me because I am from the mountains in Europe,” says Haller, who grew up in the Dolomites, of her initial reaction to the project. Although the lounge largely reflects the Hudson Valley, small touches, such as the Swissmar (swissmar.com) cow-emblazoned pots used for serving green chili ($20) and Mexican hot chocolate and salted-caramel ($18) fondues, nod to Haller’s upbringing in the Italian alps.
Coyuchi striped wool throw, $180, at bambeco.com
Safavieh Harper round end table, $328, at burkedecor.com
Wisteria Interlocking Rings cerulean stool, $219, at wisteria.com
Sure Fit stretch piqué pillow, $20, at surefit.net
Shades of Light vintage-style sign letter sconces, $89 each, at shadesoflight.com
PB Teen Bear fur rug, $174, at pbteen.com
Zara Home Lucy lantern, $60, at zarahome.com
Pottery Barn PB Found wooden sled, $159; and PB Found wooden skis, $299; both at potterybarn.com
Swissmar seven-piece Swiss Moo fondue set, $30, at amazon.com
Cardboard Safari Buck Jr. trophy, $32, at fredflare.com
Z Gallerie small deer head, $50, at zgallerie.com
Restoration Hardware Italian Wool and Alpaca Knit pillow covers in Ivory, $89–$119 each, at Restoration Hardware, 935 Broadway at 22nd St (212-260-9479, rh.com)
Zara Home Farm Little table, $60, at zarahome.com
Surya Pouf 78, $230, at burkedecor.com
Z Gallerie Rio cowhide rug, $450, at zgallerie.com
Even if you’re not headed to a ski resort near New York City this winter, you can still imbue your home with chalet–inspired decor on a budget. Follow the lead of new NYC bar Hudson Lodge, which used faux-fur throws, knit pillows and animal heads to transform a preexisting outdoor terrace into a winter wonderland. Find similar items at home-decor stores such as Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, West Elm and Room & Board.Follow Cristina Velocci on Twitter: @cvelocci